Re: Ive actually said that?
Jony Ive's not competing with the luxury watch market, since the Apple Watch is in the $500 - $1000 range - that's about the same as a steel and sapphire Tag Heuer with a quartz movement. The gold edition watch was a bit of fun for publicity's sake.
Ive understands the luxury watch market better than you think - at least he knows the ultra-rich don't just have one watch, they have several. At he conference last summer he said:
“I don’t see how we can compare these wonderful mechanical watches that we own and a product that has such a comprehensive functionality and capability that will grow and change beyond our imagining,”
The only area fit for comparison is the fit and finish of the watches, which even watch nerds agree is impeccable on the Apple watch. Of course Ive is 'cheating', by using ultra-high tolerance mass-production methods (such as lasers and Renishaw CMM probes) that Apple use in their previous products.
Of course, the Apple watch is a typically compromised MK I Apple product (like the first iPod, iPhone and and iPad) that is intended to be a placeholder in the market place until the technology catches up.
Jony Ive is actually a bit of a fan of mechanical watches, having designed a watch for Jaeger-LeCoultre with his colleague Marc Newson. Newson himself had his own mechanical watch brand - the Ikepod Manatee is an obvious forebear to the Apple watch.
If Sir Jony had a total lack of style or appreciation of design, he wouldn't own a black Bentley Mulsanne and an Aston Martin DB4.